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Foreign & American Classics

Medina, Ohio

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Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks

My heart is in classics, but what determines a classic? Maybe I should state I start to lose interest in the 1980s, my formative years, though a 1981 Oldsmobile SportOmega is more interesting than, let’s say, a Buick GNX. Nonetheless, there are plenty of newer cars that are worthy of glory but, again, what’s a newer car? To a guy who’s into older cars, something from 20 years ago may count; to my wife, she’d think I’m on crack (sorry, Tati, dispensaries don’t sell that in Arizona). Ah, the travails of age!

So, this week’s Friday AutoHunter Picks are a panorama of modern vehicles chock full of horsepower, if not horsepower for their respective moments in time. You don’t have to worry about any of these cars not starting, not getting you to Point B, and so forth. There’s even a few that would be gentle on your gas wallet, which sounds like a win/win considering what we’ve gone through with gas prices.

2017 Cadillac CTS-V
I have trouble keeping track of Cadillac’s models and offerings. I prefer names to alpha-numeric nonsense and, besides, that nonsense is inspired by “furrin” cars that have no business influencing our distinctive modes of transportation. Nonetheless, here we are talking about a 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.

Though somewhat Rubenesque from the back, the CTS is a looker, especially from an approach from the front where those vertical daytime running lights look impressive. The truth is that the 640-horsepower supercharged LT4 is what’s impressive, as is the list of equipment: Brembos, carbon fiber accents inside and out, and Solar Orange Pearl. This ain’t Grandma’s de Ville, that’s for sure.

1991 Acura NSX
The styling has aged gracefully, but its place in the collector car market has not, having shot upwards in value as if it’s an exotic. And, to be honest, it’s an exotic despite its somewhat humble origins. What Honda got right with the NSX was the harmony of its driving experience, with its chassis being of special note. It’s also the first mass-produced car to feature an aluminum body.

This Formula Red with Camel leather NSX on AutoHunter is in the hands of the original owner and has been garage-kept in Southern California ever since. The 163,398 miles may seem high, but it’s great to know that this car has been enjoyed the way it should. Would you believe that the NSX only had 270 horsepower? Thanks to proper maintenance and with a proper inspection, this NSX may be a truly fine driver.

2002 Ford Focus SVT
Ford’s late, lamented Focus ST can find its origins in this hot hatch, which was produced from 2002-04. Featuring a 2.0-liter four with 170 horsepower and a six-speed manual, the Focus SVT was initially available as a three-door but a five-door was available in 2003-04, though the three-door always was more popular.

This 2002, one of 4,788 built, has undergone a complete mechanical and cosmetic refurbishment over the past 5,000 miles. The engine has been rebuilt, plus the air conditioning, suspension, braking and cooling systems, and more have been overhauled. The original SVT Blue also was resprayed three years ago. Here’s a fun vehicle that has all the right ingredients to enjoy as a daily driver while enjoying collectability status.

2006 Saleen S281 Mustang
It is a big shocker for me to see that this vehicle listed for $59,099 before taxes, licenses and other related charges. Seriously? For a 2006 Mustang? But it’s a Saleen convertible with a supercharged 4.6-liter V8 rated at 435 horsepower. How this compared to a factory Ford Shelby GT500 with 500 horses would be better known to Mustang enthusiasts, but I don’t know how MSRPs compared. I can think of many cars I’d rather have at that price point.

But that price point is no longer relevant, so this Saleen may be a fine value for those who enjoy horsepower and the open air. This particular car is #1001 of 1,633 built, of which 406 were convertibles. With unique styling tweaks and assured collectability, this Mustang follows the beat of a different drummer compared to most collectibles from the era, yet it likely didn’t follow much when new (though 435 horsepower is GT territory these days).

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